In re: Wisconsin Tissue Mills, Inc. and United Paperworkers International Union Local 1279

An employer imposed a smoking ban and an employee filed a grievance, which was orally denied. The collective bargaining agreement provides that in processing grievances, it is understood that if the request for handling to the next stage is not submitted to the Company in writing within three days following the Company’s reply to the previous stage, the grievance will be considered dropped.  If the Company fails to answer the grievance in writing within three days from the grievance meeting, it will be considered settled in favor of the employee.  Here, the grievance was denied orally, but a response in writing did not occur within three days.  So, an arbitrator ruled that “the situation should return to the status quo prior to the filing of said Grievance” and will remain so until the parties meet and discuss possible changes.

102 LA 601 (1994).